Two initiatives planned by the Swedish Government to boost vocational training and employment, by providing incentives for companies to recruit the long-term unemployed, have been cleared by the European Commission from EU rules on anti-competitive state aid.

The first measure allows companies to receive support of up to 50% of the gross salary of every long-term unemployed person they recruit over a period of 6 months. Companies have an obligation to provide training to these new employees, so that they acquire professionally-useful skills and become fully employable in the longer term. The scheme does not contain any discriminatory measures with regard to free movement of workers, services or free right of establishment, the Commission said on December 16. The objective of the employment measures is to subsidise the recruitment of long-term unemployed people, i.e. registered as out of work by the public employment...

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